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Women More Likely Than Men to Remove Tattoos

Despite societal acceptance of body art, more women than men regret permanent tattoos

MONDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although tattoo procurement is an increasingly mainstream phenomenon, visible tattoos on women may not be as socially acceptable as they are for men, and more women than men choose to have tattoos removed, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Myrna L. Armstrong, of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Marble Falls, Texas, and colleagues conducted a study of 66 men and 130 women with tattoos in 2006 to ascertain the reasons for tattoo procurement and removal, and to compare their findings with a similar study conducted in 1996, as tattoos have become more popular among young people in the interim.

Whereas in 1996 more men than women requested tattoo removal, in 2006, 69 percent of requests came from women, the report indicates. Women with tattoos were typically white, single women with a college education, stable family relations and moderate to strong religious beliefs, the researchers note.

"There seemed to be more societal fallout for women with tattoos, as the tattoos began to cause embarrassment, negative comments, and clothes problems and no longer satisfied the need for uniqueness," the authors write. "Therefore, for women to avoid the possession risks of their tattoos, as in the past, they may still need to deliberately think about controlling the body placement of their tattoos to reduce cognitive dissonance and to increase their psychological comfort."

Two of the study authors report an association with Freedom2Ink and Freedom-2 and one reports conducting research with laser equipment.

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